"I don't think it's too weird," said guard Kobe Bryant, who had a contentious relationship with Shaq during the center's time with the Lakers from 1996 to 2004. "I don't really hold too much significance to the fact that he's playing with the Celtics. I don't think Laker fans as a whole are. I don't think it's that big of a deal."
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not weird. Really, it’s not.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant doesn’t believe there’s anything unusual about former teammate and partner-in-crime Shaquille O’Neal being a member of the Boston Celtics.
Bryant and O’Neal won three consecutive championships with the purple-and-gold. And O’Neal was the face of the Lakers before their feuds forced him east to the Miami Heat.
I’m not buying Bryant’s no-comment. Neither should you.
Bryant and O’Neal are still rivals. Tension still exists from the World Wars. It’s just under the surface and can manifest itself at any moment.
For instance, right after winning his fifth championship last spring, Bryant boasted to the throngs of reporters that ‘he now had one more than Shaq’.
Perhaps that comment drove O’Neal to sign a two-year deal with the Celtics last summer, even though it meant accepting less minutes, shots, and spotlight.
O’Neal probably believes he could’ve been the difference in last year’s NBA Finals when the Lakers needed seven-games to beat, you guessed it, the Celtics.
So Bryant and O’Neal are rivals. These Lakers and Celtics are rivals. And historically, the Lakers and Celtics have always been great rivals.
But hey, Shaq on the Celtics isn’t weird. Really, it’s not.
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